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Fat-Shaming or Just Telling the Truth?

Posted by on Oct. 16, 2013 at 8:53 AM
  • 26 Replies

Fit Mom of 3 Accused of 'Fat-Shaming' Women Is Just Telling the Truth (PHOTO)

by Maressa Brown

maria kang what's your excuseThirty-two-year-old California mom, fitness enthusiast, and former beauty queen Maria Kang probably thought she was just posting some run-of-the-mill "fitspo" or fitspiration when she posted a photo of herself on Facebook. She was in a workout bra and booty shorts, flaunting her toned body, alongside her three little sons, then aged 3 years, 2 years, and 8 months, with the caption: "What's Your Excuse?" Instead, she started a comment war -- with many of the more than 12,000 responses to the photo being hateful accusations of fat-shaming.

People got even more bent out of shape when Kang posted what she calls a "non-apology" ... 

Kang wrote:

I'm sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won't go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two businesses, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It's yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn't create them. You created them. So if you want to continue 'hating' this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life.

BRAVO to that! Although getting defensive probably wasn't the wisest move, Kang shouldn't have felt compelled to apologize at all. Nothing about her original post could be considered fat-shaming. She didn't say or even mean to portray something like, "You moms who don't work out are gross, lazy, fat asses." She was saying you can and should make fitness a part of your life even when you're a busy mom -- and she's not even the first mom to say that!

Jillian Michaels, who is notoriously tough on everyone for their excuses, told us back in April that even she has struggled with maintaining her fitness regimen since becoming a mom, but, at the same time, "it's a form of medicine, and if you want to have your best body, sure, you need to work out. And if you're eating well 80 percent of the time, then basically, you set yourself up for not having to work out as often. And then, when you do exercise, if you incorporate some key fitness techniques, you can make a half an hour count like it's 60."

That's exactly how I feel -- and I'm sure Kang feels -- about fitness. But when we see the picture of her with her little ones, bangin' body, and that in-your-face question, it's natural to react in an intense, potentially negative way, especially if you're not feeling so great about your own body. I'm sure that I'd feel very differently if I was currently feeling out of control with my own personal fitness goals. Of course our perspectives are colored by own unique challenges.

But as Jillian also told me, prioritizing fitness has to do with shifting our perspective. Realizing that dragging your ass to the gym or jumping on a treadmill during the baby's 20-minute nap doesn't necessarily have to be about trying to look like Kang. It can mean doing what you know you've gotta do to "be around for your daughter's daughter to be born. Or not being on the sidelines of your kid's life," as Jillian put it.

Personally, when I am a mom, I know finding a way to work out no matter on a regular basis will be integral to keeping me feeling good about myself and feeling good period. I have to keep my core strong, so my bad back doesn't give out on me when I'm lifting my baby. I have to boost my metabolism for sustainable energy to play and keep up with my baby. I'll have to work out to be a healthier, happier, better mom. Those are my motivations -- my reasons for avoiding excuses.

Which really makes me feel like by posting that photo, Kang didn't mean any harm; she just could have been a bit less abrasive. Instead of "What's your excuse?" maybe we all need to be asking ourselves "What's your motivation?"

How do you feel about Kang's photo and "non-apology"?

by on Oct. 16, 2013 at 8:53 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Anonymous 1 on Oct. 16, 2013 at 9:02 AM
I love it. It can happen if you gain less, evercise and eat right. I didn't and gained too much. No one to blame but me.
People eat too much fast food and crap and sit on the couch.
by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 9:58 AM
1 mom liked this

God bless her genetics and time management skills but the day she spends a week in my shoes and we shall see if she could make it out with that body afterwards!

by Anonymous 1 on Oct. 16, 2013 at 10:02 AM
Maybe not her body but not obese either.

Quoting MixedCooke:

God bless her genetics and time management skills but the day she spends a week in my shoes and we shall see if she could make it out with that body afterwards!

by Anonymous 2 on Oct. 16, 2013 at 10:25 AM
1 mom liked this

I'm fat and she is right!

yes, some people have medical issues and the result is weight gain but for most being fat is the cause of a lot of problems.

I am trying to loose weight and is not easy, but you have to start somewhere

by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 10:26 AM
1 mom liked this
Its truth. And this has been done already.
by on Oct. 16, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Eh.  It doesnt make me feel bad.  We all have our talents.  Maybe she cant cook or isnt very bright.  Maybe she has a nanny because she cant do it all.  Her body looks great but im not worried about it.  I appreciate what I have and dont bash others because they have things I dont. 

by Silver Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 5:25 PM

I think the image is fine.

I think her response shows that she isn't someone who thinks particularly deeply about issues, but then again, not many are.  Considering the comments she faced, it is a pretty mild response.  :-)

by on Oct. 16, 2013 at 5:37 PM
1 mom liked this

 Maybe if she hadn't said "What's your excuse", it might have been a little easier to take?  She looks good and it takes a lot of work and self control to be a healthy weight and toned. She is an inspiration!She looks great after having three kids. :)

by Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 7:57 PM

I'm fat and normally I don't have an issue with people who point out that you get fat for a reason or don't tolerate us fatties bitching about our predicament. That's fine. 

But her initial stance was a guantlet thrown, rather than just saying "Hey, look, I'm proud of myself!" It was more of a "everyone should be like me!" 

Well, sorry, but with the kind of shape she's in, it's a mix of genetics and her spending A LOT of time on her own personal health. I'm not saying her kids don't benefit from the meals, probably, but I'm sure they'd rather have Mom at home than at the gym or locked away doing her exercises, then taking additional time to BLOG about it. 

On one forum, some lady said something about her like "Mommy, can I have a drink of water?" "Sorry, son, have your 3 year old brother get it. I'm too busy posting another picture of myself on FB." I thought that probably is closer to the truth than she is some wonderful role model and mother. 

by on Oct. 17, 2013 at 5:27 AM
1 mom liked this

i maybe didn't read it all closely, but i didn't get the part where she was mean to people that are overweight. she seemed to be saying, hey, CMON let's ALL do this! and i don't believe she should have soft-soaped it. there are WAYYYYY toooooo many overweight people in the us. she put out a challenge! i need to work out more. and some skinny bitch saying what's your motivation? won't get my lazy ass up offa the couch. but her bitchslapping me w/ the what's your excuse? grrrrrrr. reminds me i have no excuse! nicy nice hints ain't gonna take the potato chips outta my hands. the bitchslap could do WAY more, just cuz she pissed me off, and pointed out to me that it's all MY fault and no-one else's!

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